Battle For Mosul

I was asked by Radio 5 Live to comment on the Battle to retake Mosul from Islamic State which started today.  Mosul is almost twice the size of Basra, so the operation will not be swift.  There may be rapid gains through the empty desert, but house to house fighting inside the city will be slow.  The key to success is to ensure the Sunni community are not disenfranchised.  The Iraqi Government would be well advised to follow up immediately with a reconstruction programme after an area is liberated, as we did in Sadr City in 2008.  It is vital to avoid Mosul stagnating and becoming another Aleppo.  See Belfast to Benghazi pages 218 to 226:                         


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